According to the Food Standards Agency in the UK, growing numbers of adults take vitamins and dietary supplements, especially in the herbal, probiotic, and sports nutrition categories. Consumers’ behavior towards health supplements is also encouraged with the availability of reputable retailers online. With a quick search of “vitamins UK“, they can purchase supplements for various health needs.
While they don’t replace a healthy diet, taking the right amount of vitamins brings positive changes to one’s health. Vitamins and mineral supplements are small amounts of nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy. Many individual factors determine the amount and kind of nutrients a person needs, such as age, gender, diet, and existing medical conditions. Below are five essential vitamins that the body needs to reach optimum health.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble mineral that plays a crucial role in immune system function. It serves as an antioxidant or a nutrient that neutralizes free radicals that cause cells to age. Studies also show it lowers blood pressure and risk of heart disease, reduces uric acid levels, and improves iron absorption in the body. Vitamin C can be found in fruits like oranges, kiwi fruit, strawberries, and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and kale. While it may be found in food, many people take Vitamin C supplements for additional needs.
Vitamin D is often called the Sunshine Vitamin since it is produced in the skin in response to sunlight. A sufficient amount of this vitamin is crucial to bones’ normal development as it regulates calcium absorption. It also facilitates the normal functioning of the immune system, improving the body’s resistance against diseases. A recent study showed Vitamin D improved the well-being of patients suffering from depression. Foods that contain vitamin D include salmon, sardines, egg yolk, and fortified milk and yoghurt. This vitamin is found in a few food items, and getting enough exposure to the sun alone is challenging. That’s why many people take vitamin D supplements instead.
Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a critical role in red blood cell production and nervous system function. It is naturally found in meats, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and fortified products. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anaemia, which is not having enough red blood cells, or neuropathy, or numbness of the hands and feet. People who are at risk of B-12 deficiency are the elderly and those with a strict vegan diet. These individuals should take B-12 supplements to increase the vitamin’s level in their bodies.
When researching “vitamins UK”, people will find calcium as one of the most sought-after food supplements by adults. After all, this mineral plays an essential part in the body’s mobility. Calcium maintains strong bones and teeth, sends nerve signals, and regulates contraction and dilation of muscles. When the bloodstream does not have enough calcium, the body takes it from the skeleton and teeth to use for other functions. Thus, the bones become weak and brittle. Doctors recommend taking calcium supplements, especially for the elderly and women reaching menopause. These individuals have a higher risk for osteoporosis, so calcium supplements can help fill the gap.
The main functions of magnesium in the body are muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulations, and immune system support. It is an important vitamin for taking care of the heart – the body’s most important muscle. It regulates glucose and insulin metabolism, which are important functions for people with diabetes. Like calcium, magnesium improves bone formation so adults can avoid bone-related conditions in the future. As it covers a range of functions, magnesium deficiency is linked to various health complications as well.